Australian Great Barrier Reef rodent: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Australian Great Barrier Reef rodent (also known as Bramble Cay melomys) has become the first mammal species driven to extinction by human-induced climate change.

It was revealed after researchers in extensive survey (searches) failed to find a single specimen from its only known habitat on a sandy island in far northern Australia.

The extensive survey in the hope of conserving the species was conducted by Scientists from the University of Queensland, after a study in 2014 found no sign of the species.

Reasons for Extinction

  • The main reason for extinction Bramble Cay melomys is anthropogenic climate change.
  • The climate change caused in ocean inundation (due to sea rise) of the low-lying cay areas of their habitat over the last decade resulting in dramatic habitat loss.

About Bramble Cay melomys

  • Bramble Cay melomys is a small rat-like (rodent) animal species in the family Muridae.
  • It is Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic (found nowhere else) mammal species.
  • It was mainly found in a small coral cay called Bramble Cay located off the north coast of Queensland in the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Their coral cay habitat was only 340m long and 150m wide and was 3m above sea level.
  • It was first discovered in 1845 on the cay by Europeans who shot the “large rats” for sport.
  • The last known sighting of this species was in 2009 by a professional fisherman.

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Categories: India Current Affairs 2017

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